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Entertainment Briefs - Oct. 25

Actor and writer Patrick Scully performs "Leaves of Grass-Illuminated," the story of poet Walt Whitman's personal life and motivation. The performance will be 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Cultural Center in New York Mills. Submitted Photo

One-man show to hit NYM stage

NEW YORK MILLS—Patrick Scully will play Walt Whitman in "Leaves of Grass—Illuminated" at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Cultural Center in New York Mills. This one-man theater show is free to attend and recommended for persons in high school and older.

This performance summons the spirit of America's great poet, Walt Whitman. The play will include Whitman's 200th birthday (May 31, 2019) and how he is an important artist; a poet who loved America, and used his writing to strategically transform what he believed needed to be changed, a news release stated.

This show begins an important conversation about celebrating male companionship. Whitman crafted clear strategies to deal with the social pressures and the consequences he faced for writing about taboo topics.

"This is a side of Whitman few of us learned about in our American Literature classes," the news release stated. "Some of these taboos have disappeared, others are still very relevant—such as relationships between men, and the forces that seek to deny them. The show reveals how Whitman seemed to be able to look into the future, foreseeing that same-sex relations would move out of the shadows into the light of day."

"Leaves of Grass—Illuminated" is the product of more than 10 years of research and development. Scully has his roots in choreography and has read over 55 books by and about Whitman. A large cast version of this show opened in Minneapolis to critical acclaim in 2014. Scully developed that version into a one-man show in a residency at MANCC at Florida State University in 2015, and premiered the show in New York City and Minneapolis in 2016.

In 2017-18, Scully toured the show to 24 communities in Minnesota, with support from the Minnesota State Arts Board Legacy Funds.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

This performance will be preceded by a gallery reception for the Cultural Center's new exhibit, Jeremy Lundquist & Regan Golden Printmaking and Installation Art Show, which opens in the Oct. 3. A reception is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 3 and is free to the public.

For more information, call 218-385-3339 or visit

Hip Hop artists comes to GRA

LITTLE FALLS—Artists Desdamona and DJ Kool Akiem will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 on the Great River Arts stage in Little Falls, as part of the weekend long "Small But Noteworthy" arts celebration.

Desdamona is an international award-winning artist who has taken her distinct lyrics, sounds, and artistic stylings to audiences from Minnesota to Hawaii to Puerto Rico to Germany; gracing some of hip hop and poetrys most illustrious stages, a news release stated. She has won five Minnesota Music Awards for "Best Spoken Word Artist." She has made a name for herself not only as a performer, but as a promoter, community organizer and teaching artist.

From underground mixtapes in the early 90s and the various Micranots releases, to 2006's Mixtape Deluxe, DJ Kool Akiem has been providing a steady diet of funk to the public for years now. Lacing ornate and eclectic samples over rugged drum hits and 808 kicks, Kool Akiem's productions have a distinct feeling that provide just the right amount of stimulation not to take attention away from the lyrics of his various collaborators. While most producers stick to a time-tested formula, Kool Ak constantly keeps it fresh by reinventing his production style without losing the urgent bump that folks have grown to expect from his tracks, the news release stated.

Tickets are available at Great River Arts, by phone at 320-6320-0960 or online at

'Taste of Nations' set

The sixth annual Heartland Symphony Orchestra "Taste of Nations" fundraiser will be Nov. 9 at Cragun's Golf Course Legacy Pavilion in Brainerd.

Social hour and appetizers begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and music at 6:45 p.m. The event includes a four-course meal paired with musical selections and a silent auction.

The HSO will feature an arrangement from the Swing-Big Band Era. Tickets for the event cost $50 and may be purchased online at, from HSO board members or by mail at HSO, PO Box 241, Little Falls, MN 56345.

Art show/sale opens Nov. 9

The annual Brainerd Art Guild show and sale will kick off Nov. 9 with The Crossing Arts Alliance "Kringle" event in downtown Brainerd.

The art show and sale will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 9, Nov. 10, Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 at the Rumbly Hall, 707 Laurel St., Brainerd, and is free to attend.

There are 14 artists who will have their work on display in many mediums including oil, watercolor, acrylic, fabric art and pottery.

Youth Authors Conference set

STAPLES—Young and aspiring authors have an opportunity to learn from esteemed writers and let their creativity soar at the 2018 Young Authors Conference scheduled Nov. 13 at Central Lakes College, Staples campus.

This event, sponsored by Sourcewell, is open to students in fourth through sixth grade who have an interest in writing and are ready to explore on a deeper level. This conference provides the opportunity to learn from professional writers, including keynote speaker and Geoff Herbach. Students will participate in interactive writing sessions led by fiction and non-fiction writers, poets, songwriters, playwrights, actors, illustrators, and more, traveling through sessions and discovering the many different paths that can be taken through writing.

In a news release, Katie Embree, student academics coordinator, stated this event is an opportunity for students with an interest in writing to further explore and let their imaginations take flight. This year's event is themed: Adventure Island.

"We love offering this to our regional students as a way to further explore writing and be able to interact with others who have a similar interest," Embree stated. "We have several amazing writers who will also participate in this conference to help influence and assist our budding authors."

Embree said registration for the 2018 Young Authors Conference is open; and is intended, but not limited to, classes and/or schools to attend together. For more information, visit

Sourcewell is a self-supporting government organization, partnering with education, government, and nonprofits to boost student and community success. Created in 1978 as one of Minnesota's nine service cooperatives, we offer training and shared services to our central-Minnesota members.

Casanova to read her book

WADENA—Author Mary Casanova of Rainer will read her newest picture book, "Hush Hush Forest," a companion to her 2016 release "Wake Up Island" from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Wadena City Library.

Illustrations and easy-to-read, rhyming text show how, throughout autumn, forest animals prepare for winter as shadows lengthen, the ground freezes, and northern lights begin to appear, it states on her Facebook page. Nick Wroblewski of Duluth is the illustrator.

Casanova is also the author of the popular "Dog Watch" middle grade series, five American Girl stories, the One Dog picture book series, as well as the following young-adult novels: "Frozen," "Ice-Out," "Moose Tracks," "Wolf Shadows," "Stealing Thunder," "The Klipfish Code" and "When Eagles Fall."

Casanova has written more than 30 books, from picture books to young-adult novels. Her books earned numerous awards, including the American Library Association Notable and Parents' Choice Gold Award.